Nordstrom has acquired a minority interest in the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands of U.K.-based Asos. The retailer had already been the exclusive distributor of the Topshop and Topman labels in the U.S. for the last nine years, and under the new agreement will have exclusive multi-channel retail rights to the two brands in all of North America.
Seattle-based Nordstrom will also own a minority stake globally and be the only brick-and-mortar presence for the brands worldwide.
Nordstrom operates more than 350 physical stores and its online sites see nearly two billion annual visits, which will help the four Asos brands grow, per the company, adding that the agreement with Asos is an unprecedented collaboration and alignment that redefines the traditional retail and wholesale model. Asos will retain operational and creative control of the Topshop brands, and a shared ownership model will ensure close collaboration between Nordstrom and Asos.
"With its long-established connection to Topshop, extensive U.S. consumer insight and unparalleled reach right across North America, Nordstrom is the right partner to help Asos accelerate the growth of our Topshop and Asos brands in this key market," said Nick Beighton, CEO at Asos. "Asos is all about giving customers the confidence to be who they want to be. Partnering with Nordstrom will support our U.S. strategy, allowing us to offer that to even more 20-somethings in North America. We're excited about the opportunities ahead, collaborating to deliver the best product through engaging, friction-free multi-touch experiences and we can't wait to see the growth in our brands in Nordstrom stores."
The investment paves the way for the potential of a wider strategic alliance between Asos and Nordstrom as they seek to leverage their complementary retail models to give even more younger shoppers, focusing on shoppers in their 20s, the confidence to be whoever they want to be, the retailer said.. The companies are in discussions to create a multi-channel showcase for a handful of Asos brands and customers will also be able to pick up Asos.com orders at Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores this fall.
"We could not have found a better partner in Asos, the world leader in fashion for the 20-something customer, and are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them to reimagine the wholesale/retail partnership," said Pete Nordstrom, president and chief brand officer. "Bringing the Asos brands, including Topshop and Topman, to our customers allows us to create newness and excitement for this important dynamic customer segment."